Posted by Tucker19--
Disclaimer alert: In no way am I endorsing any prospect or saying that he likes or dislikes any player. I'm just reporting what I heard and observed.
Ok on with it:
Very intimate setting at Jbucks in Clayton, MO. About 20-25 people I would guesstimate. Everyone was kind of half circled around him.
Very down to earth, seemed very happy to be there talking about what he likes best: the draft.
1) First question I asked:
Tucker: "billy, first overall pick a DT? Kinda shaky history there right?"
BD: "name 1 dt that played in the superbowl?"
Tucker: "anthony hargrove"
BD: "haha, that's because he played here, right?"
BD: "difference between a qb and dt is the qb touches the ball EVERY play.
He said that last part without a question from me.
2) I made a point to tell him that 19/32 starting qbs in the NFL were former 1st rounders. Billy was aware and after i asked about the risk taking a qb in the first round he clearly stated: "if you want a franchise qb odds are you're going to have to invest a first round pick in him. Every now again you can step in $hit and stumble into a later round pick that pans out."
3) Ryan Leaf - said not only did they make a mistake in taking him, but made every known mistake afterwards in camp and during the season. Said every coach they talked to said you had to make him earn it. He was the big man on campus from the time he was a freshman in HS. They didn't obey, they anointed him the starter the 4th practice in camp.
4) Pat Shurmur - everyone in the organization realizes that shurmur is the dog right now. Says with more talent the playcalling would be MUCH different.
5) QB Intangibles - this one was asked by me. Said that when they evaluate qbs they look for the guy to be the hardest working player on his team. Has to be a film rat. It's what turned atlanta on to matt ryan.
6) QB height - Brees exception to the rule. Says besides the intangibles the reason he's so successful is because he throws 100% over the top. Throws like he's 6'3 - on his tippy toes.
7) Rams building when he came in 2008 - Said there were people all over the building (many not even football related) that moved here with the team in '95. Said there were so many that hated STL and openly talked about the climate and their desire to go back to LA. Said removing them was TOP priority. And they aren't done yet.
8- Desuan Jackson - this was a big one. Point blank - said the same thing we've read: drafting jackson with guys like claude terrell, incognito, byrd and wroten on the team would've been a disaster for the rams and jackson. Said he needed to go to a team with a good amount of talent, a good position coach, strong head coach and overall strong building and locker room. Then followed up that statement with "and we had scott linehan." he stopped after that comment to let it sink in. Then said henry ellard was so soft spoken (good as he was/is) and hands off that it wouldn't of worked. Said Jackson needed a position coach that would put his foot up his @$$. Also said that the character rap sheet on jackson was out of this world.
9) Richie Incognito - loves 90% of him. Dislikes the 10% and that's what cost him in STL. 3 rams players went on vacation with him this offseason.
10) Jason Smith/Eugene Monroe: Monroe was the better overall OT coming out of the draft....more polished. The reason he's a jag and j smooth is a ram is because of the ceiling JS possesses and the passion for the game. Eugene has none.
11) Barron - said when he worked for (i don't remember what team it was in '05) that when they talked to coaches, teammates, etc. about alex the response was this: "alex loves basketball". Couldn't believe a team took him in the first round. A gentleman beside me said "alex played pretty well at LT this year" and billy just smirked and took a drink of his beer.
12) More on previous regime - wouldn't name anyone by name but basically just LOL when talking about how bad it was. Said the legitimate personnel people in the NFL would never of taken claude terrell, wroten or byrd in the 3rd round. Laughed when talking about the fact that there was no (i repeat ZERO) pro personnel department before he took over as GM last season.
13) Haynesworth - said he talks to people that were in that organization before shanahan fired them and said he would march right up to snyders office - wouldn't talk to any of his position coaches at all.
14) Jonathon Crompton - one word: knucklehead.
15) One more thing on Dominic Byrd: described his personality as "piece of ----"
16) Mark Sanchez - wouldve ended up on IR if he was a ram. Also said he has "serious" knee issues.
17) Fletcher - happy that NYJ traded up to get shawn green (even though that's who they were targeting) because they ended up with fletcher. Says he's a star in the making. Knee doing "fantastic".
18- J Smooth - couldve played the last game
19) Avery - not pleased with development and said he's been working hard on conditioning. Sort of hinted that this is season is a turning point for him.
20) Ryan Mathews - tomorrow morning at 5 the first 3 tapes he's watching is on Mathews.
21) Back up running back - "have to draft one this year" - Even said under his breath "we need to take one in the second round".
22) Spread offenses - not only hard to evaluate qbs but makes evaluating WRs almost impossible because there is no press. Also very difficult to judge OL. That's pretty obvious.
23) Colt Mccoy - not joking and I quote: "that little guy from TX". Also said it's obvious that guys like he and clausen have to use their whole body to throw the ball because they don't have the arm length to sling it.
24) Jimmy Clausen - 3 things stood out to me: 1) Said he was pretty positive he'd check in at 6'2 which is plenty tall enough. 2) Is very aware of the speculated "attitude, personality issues". He hinted that they haven't received good feedback on him - personality wise. 3) Said they will def be observing him VERY closely.
25) Sam Bradford - I'll just say this (and no I'm not saying this because I want him with our first pick): You can tell that billy either REALLY likes him or is putting on one heck of a smokescreen to a room full of 25 guys at jbucks. The knocks on sam that billy gave were: 1) Medical obviously, said they will trust their own doctors. Complimented Dr. Andrews but said he was bias obviously. 2) Lack of pressure in college - but then went on to say: "but I went back and watched that byu game before he went down, and he was getting his rear kicked all over the field - and he got up every time before that last hit."
26) Jahvid Best - "it will all come down to his medical"
27) Mccoy vs Suh: "clearly you can tell suh is working out of a system that relies more on read and react. Where mccoy shoots the gap and just goes. Sometimes when you watch suh you just say to yourself, please go to the ball and just GO."
28- Suh - didn't get too much into this guy (honestly) except that he's impressed with the strength. Honestly said more and seemed more impressed with gerald mccoy.
29) Marc Bulger - whether it was on purpose or not he talked about bulgers contract on 3 separate occasions. Even mentioned that this year is different because they can cut him w/o the major cap ramifications - in contrast to before '08 and '09.
30) Benn - seems to have favorable opinions and impressions of/on benn.
31) James Hall - is priority #1 in resigning their own UFA.
32) Darrell Scott - 1/2 way thru the year spags got in his face and said: "i don't care what the f you did in clemson, this is the NFL. You better step it up or you're out". Devaney then said this: "after that happened it was like a light switch went off in scott's head"
33) Gibson - WW trade wouldn't of happened if he wasn't involved. Said jeff laurie (philly owner) didn't want to give him up.
34) Have looked at pike
35) Vick: "when vick is under center he won like what, (games) 70% or something. The big thing on mike (called him by first name) is what have these last 3 years done to him? Obviously his game is his legs, are they the same?"
36) Lastly, this was in response to a favorable question (not from me) regarding a particular qb and the number 1 overall pick:
BD: "i'll tell you what' the first time the kid from Oklahoma gets hit and is laying on the floor, if he doesn't get right up and stays down.....get in your car and drive home" (intimating that they'll all be fired).
Another fan: "especially if it's suh (that puts him down)"
BD: Laughing out loud.
That's all I really remember, BBrams was there so he can fill in anything I left out.
Posted by BBRams
Outstanding report Tucker. Here is my personal disclaimer - and it came from BD himself - everyone lies this time of year. So take these tidbits for what's it's worth. That being said, this was the coolest Rams function I have attended since moving to St. Louis. Tucker mentioned 20-25 guys, but I would say for the last hour or so, it was more like ten of us huddled around BD and talking football. He seems like a great guy and was very personable...again, it was amazing that he took the time for this event.
Couple notes to add to Tuckers:
1) Said they were sweating the 2nd round pick last year - as the first round was wrapping up, James and Rey were the highest guys on their board. BD said he went around the room and asked everyone if they would take Rey over James, otherwise they're taking JL. No one said yes.
2) Follow up on James - they are thrilled with him. Said that Coach Spags got a text from him yesterday asking if he could come in early (to Rams Park) or send him some film because he's going crazy at home without any football.
3) I will emphasize the point about the Jets trading up and selecting Shonn Greene...BD mentioned this a few times and how Greene was THEIR guy and thinks someone in the organization let it slip, so the Jets traded up to get him.
4) RBs this year - likes McCluster, Dwyer, Dixon, Best (concerned about that concussion-more on this next). Said that he and Coach will be watching Ryan Matthews tomorrow morning. Someone asked about LeGarrette Blount and he just shook his head (no).
5) Concussions - teams are taking these VERY serious, for the obvious reasons. Said guys at the combine will receive a full body MRI and there usually are about 4-5 guys who detect some type of previously undiagnosed injury that get them listed as DND (do not draft). Went on to say that each team will have an unaffiliated doctor on the sideline and if a player fails any test, the Dr. has the authority to pull that player then and there.
6) Rookie pay scale will definitely happen in the near future. Said it makes too much sense and everyone except the agents want to make it happen. Will be glad to see the players who've earned it, get paid.
7) They haven't had any contact yet with the new potential owner (Khan).
Said that Chip & Lucia are great people and very loyal. He didn't mention any names, but said that the previous regimes just took advantage of them. Tucker posed the question about the recent draft history, to which BD mentioned that's what happens when the coach is selecting the players and they don't have a personnel department.
9) Thinks this is a very deep/good draft due to all the juniors declaring. Said watch and see how many juniors go in the top ten.
10) We all got a laugh when the NFL Network showed a clip of an interview with him that he took earlier today.
11) More on what they look for in prospects - guys with good football intelligence that can learn and passion for the game. My note on this - it sounds like they will take a guy with a higher "ceiling" over a more polished player (e.g. - JSmith vs. Monroe).
12) More on Bradford from what Tucker mentioned - they really like his throwing motion and think his arm strength is underrated. Mobility is a plus and has a good frame to get bigger. Obviously this topic (Bradford @ #1) came up often and the more we heard, the more it sounds like it will depend on if the doctors clear him. Again, take it for what it's worth.
13) We really didn't discuss Clausen too much. However, he did say that if you don't like him, don't watch the film (because he looks good). Said they have to do more work on him and check out the personality stuff...confidence and a bit of swagger is ok, but it doesn't matter how good a guy is, if his teammates don't like him, that's not your leader.
14) Said they expect to see a lot of teams unloading the mega contracts that they don't want to get stuck with in March-April.
That's all that comes to mind right now...it really was incredible to stand around and talk football with him. I applaud the Rams organization for making such a key figure available for questions, especially at this time of year.